Douglas Barbour wrote:
> >Aw, c'mon, loosen up, Doug. This is a day for celebration. I, the
> >Greatest Power in the Consciously Known Universe, say so.
> >I suppose this IS an "illegal" war!! And SH's regime was "legal"! By
> >George, I feel terrible about that! We should take it very seriously!!
> >The way Israel should take very seriously Lawrence U's note (some time
> >back but it was, bless you, noticed) to the effect that Israel exists on
> >stolen land. And presumably should therefore go away or continually beg
> >forgiveness or pay reparations for its existence.
> >As for your other points, yes, we should get supplies flowing pronto.
> >Maybe this list could get up a collection. Direct action? Make the
> >State live up to its responsibilities? Maybe send an email to the
> >proper congressmen or MPs? I'd sign. Am largely broke but I'd
> >contribute. Or would it be too ... compromising, somehow, to take such
> I admit to just sitting here (like you who have also admitted this), but I
> also am trying to get at the nuances & the problems. Was Sh's regime
> 'legal'? an interesting question, & one I wouldn't want to give any clear
> answer to, but it was accepted (hell it was half created) by the US, the UN
> etc. There are a lot of regimes out there (many of them supported by the US
> govt) I'd like to see go (others, like, say, Cuba, I'd also like to see go,
> believe me). Still I worry about responsibilities that go with all that
> power, & I think that's at the heart of a lot of the anti-war thinking
> among the people I know (including, as said, a lot of y USAmerican friends).
> As for lawrence Upton's note on Israel, I don't believe he was suggesting
> that Israel itself disappear, but that it has to not only halt the uilding
> of settlemenst on Palestinian land but be willing to give up most of the
> ones already (illegally) there. That the Palestinains (& all Arabs) must
> also acknowledge the right of Israel to exist is also a given.
> The various Un NGOS and others are saying on the Canadianmedia (whether or
> not on the US ones, which do strike me as having a rather limited simplex
> vision on this war), that things have broken down everywhere in Iraq, that
> the people desperately need the kind of help they were giving but can't
> now. I am sure that the military personnel there would want to do thier
> best to help them & I do not blame individuals there; but from the top
> there has been little sense of what needs to be done beyond, say, toppling
> those statues, bombing the hell out ot Baghdad, etc. Oh yes, finding those
> elusive WMDs (like the Scarlet Pimpernel?), 'getting' SH himself, there
> were a few other things they used to talk about before it became a war of
> liberation, as each excuse fell by the wayside.
> I'll accept that you believe in the 'usefulness' of accidental consequences
> for the good of the actions of people you despise; let me be at least wary
> of the negative possibilities in such consequences...
I've said repeatedly that the agenda of our ruling class - or certain
segments of it - is not mine, that their motives for freeing Iraq are no
doubt as self-serving as their motives for supporting Saddam in the
Eighties. That applies to WMDs also. If they aren't found, all the
better. They were a convenient excuse. The reason for dislodging the
Ba'ath regime should have been the nature of the regime. I'm hoping
that retroactively that will BECOME the reason, and the basis of the
precedent I once mentioned. I wonder if you saw, on your admirably
unbiased unowned media, a brief clip of an Iraqi showing us, in the
rubble of a Party cellar, the book in which his fingerprints had been
recorded, and then gesturing to demonstrate the tortures to which he had
been subjected. I fantasize an army whose enemy would be any torturer,
any mutilator of women, any oppressor of labor, any teacher of
irrationalist superstition, and any "culture" that supports them. An
army that, in Wilfred Owen's words, "wars on death for life, not men for
flags." Of course a bit of consensus-building would have to be done
before such a force could exist. Not least among intellectuals, and not
least on the issues of "multiculturalism" and the priority of action.
Meanwhile I largely agree with your points. Including the one about the
Israeli settlements. I hate all fundamentalisms, Jewish and Christian
as well as Moslems. One minor cavil: two days ago there was a five-hour
firefight under an overpass near Saddam City. Two marines killed, many
wounded. I'm sorry I forgot the name of the cameraman; it was the most
riveting war footage I've seen. I mention this only in connection with
the problem of aid distribution.